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PORTLAND-The City Council this week appointed developer John Russell to the Portland Development Commission.

The president of Russell Development and former partner at Melvin Mark Properties will help advise the city’s economic development arm on redevelopment of the city’s urban renewal areas, among other things. The Harvard MBA and former planning commission member also currently serves on the Oregon Transportation Commission, the Mayor’s Business Roundtable and the Portland Chamber of Commerce. Russell will take his seat on the commission Nov. 8, replacing commissioner James Atkinson.

Russell’s pet project proposal for the last couple of years has been the addition of 10 stories of structurally separate office space above the 19-story “Black Box” known formally as 200 S.W Market St, which he helped purchase, develop and refinance with Regence BlueCross BlueShield. Russell also developed Pacwest Center after successfully fighting through the pullout of an anchor tenant that stalled the $54 million project.

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